Why professors be like, here’s the books you need, some of them are required and some of them are suggested, and there’s like 3 or 4 different mixtures of everything you need, and oh yeah there’s this online shit you got to have to with some proprietary name, so you can’t you know just go around scanning the textbook and get out cheap. What do you want from me?1
The story goes that Plato burned his plays after meeting Socrates, and Tokusan is known for burning his commentaries on the diamond sutra. Rilke, in the Notebooks of Malta Laurids Brigge talks about how one should get rid of one’s childhood, to be able to come back to it later after creating some distance.
I have hundreds of pages of absolute shit, saved in documents over the years. Maybe a million words of complete rubbish: my attempt to learn how to write. I don’t know why I’ve held on to a single thing. It might be right to delete it all.
Right now I’m in the process of erasing the person who wants to write, and who loves art in favor of a scientist, which is more marketable and useful in the long run anyway. I don’t want it to go, but it seems like it has to go. There’s no way to live well.
Nobody fights for the “idea” unpopular, even though it’s far more useful, because of its difference. It’s a kind of rare flower fighting to live on rock and it has to weather all kinds of storms. Stubbornness is its only companion, and once it goes it blows away: youth.
What if life were actually very easy,
A matter of falling through
And it’s only because expectations get in the way
That were not happy every second
I was reading a bunch of anti-colonial kinds of comments, mainly about “white people” just taking stuff that’s sacred to other cultures and using it as decoration. Perhaps in the vein of Said. (Said said all the Europeans were seeing the East in a false light, and fantasizing and fetishizing it.)
This kind of thing makes me uncomfortable, because I like art. Think Piss Christ by Andres Seranno, The Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili, I mean those are objectively more offensive than a “white girl” wearing a bindhi or an feather headdress, a “white guy” talking about hip-hop or having “yellow” or “jungle” fever. To me, like getting angry about “white” people’s appropriation of other cultures, is just as racist and assuming as colonialism itself, because you’re throwing all white people in the same boat, claiming that something humans have always done (copy each other) is immoral, and claiming special status as a “pure” culture when it’s just as likely that in history your culture stole its traditions from other peoples it conquered. It’s not our fault we’re white, (for me male), and interested in what the world has to offer, but yet ignorant of the infinite complexity of it all: it’s what our culture is, a huge mixing place where we can borrow from anything we want to try to develop a kind of assemblage of who we want to be. How about you don’t wear jeans ever, or drink cokes, or talk about democracy, the rule of law, or appropriate our idea of human rights. We’re cool with sharing our shit, because we think it’s the best, and the only way we’ll be able to tell if it isn’t is we put it out there to see how it fares. That’s what we’re about, that’s white people.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Get over yourself, get over the fact that you don’t want to share, or feel like someone else doing something affects your specialness. That’s just as bad as Christian couples saying that homosexual marriage affects them, or that marriage is for “religious” people only, because it’s a religious agreement.
Humans are fucking weird.